Essex Police has defended its online photo competition, telling Amateur Photographer (AP) that the project is not intended as a way of gaining free publicity.

The contest states that the force reserves the right to use entries in future publications or ‘as it deems appropriate’.

This morning AP asked Essex Police whether there was a danger of the competition being seen merely as a way of gaining free pictures for police promotion purposes.

In reply, the force issued a statement telling us: ‘The purpose of the competition is to get people interested and involved in the new Essex Police website by contributing their own content – it is not intended to be a procurement exercise.

‘Our aim is to create interest in our website so that more people see our news and crime reduction information.’

The statement added: ‘We have been receiving some great photos which will make our site reflect how members of the public see Essex. Those who have entered are happy to enter with the terms and conditions set out.

AP then queried why pictures of people are banned. Essex Police said: ‘We have asked that the photos entered into the competition do not have people in them to ensure that we do not have any consent issues. We believe photos can still reflect Essex via its landmarks and areas of interest.’


Essex Police under fire over photo rules